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Ping launches new G400 Max driver, the “most forgiving driver in golf”

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As initially expected, the Ping G400 Max driver that officially launched today is made for more forgiveness, with a larger construction than it’s original G400 family members. In 2017, Ping launched its G400 driver line that included a standard model, a draw-biased SF Tec and a fade-biased LS Tec, each of which measured 445cc — below the 460cc legal limit of the USGA. Despite the smaller sizes, which helped reduce drag for more club head speed, they were actually more forgiving than their G-family predecessors due to aerodynamic improvements, thinner crowns, strategically-placed Tungsten weights and a new TS9+ titanium face.

Now, Ping’s new G400 Max driver has even more forgiveness than the already super-forgiving G400 drivers due to its larger size and additional weight in the rear of the golf club. Like the original G400 drivers, the G400 Max has a rear tungsten weight, except it’s even farther back and actually wraps around the sole of the G400 Max. The design means CG (center of gravity) is extremely low and rearward in the club head, and MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness) is the highest reported on the market… or in other words, according to Ping, it’s the most forgiving driver out.

“Our engineers focused on increasing the forgiveness of the driver while maintaining the distance gains and powerful sound of the original G400 driver,” said John Solheim, the president of Ping. “It’s remarkable how long and straight the G400 Max flies. The forgiveness is off the charts and leads to tighter dispersion, which reveals just how consistent your distance and accuracy results will be on the golf course. We encourage all golfers to get fit and look closely at their dispersion, not just their one best shot on a launch monitor.”

When you hear about max forgiveness, you typically assume it’s a game-improvement driver that’s made for high-handicappers, right? While this driver will help recreational golfers who need help on off-center hits, the G400 Max driver is already in the bags of Ping staffers Aaron Baddeley and Seamus Power, and non-staffer Tony Finau, one of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour. According to Ping, despite having a larger size than the original G400 drivers, the G400 Max is still able to produce speed because of its forged, heat-treated T9S+ face that has a “thinner, hotter” impact area that raises ball speed.

Like the G400 drivers, the G400 Max comes stock with an Alta CB (counterbalanced) shaft that uses special, color-shifting paint technology to look great on the shelf with its copper color, but it looks black at address to reduce distractions. Read more about the shaft technology here. Ping’s Alta CB shaft is available in 55 (SR, R, S or X flex). Additional shaft options include Ping’s Tour 65 or 75 (R, S or X) for a $35 upcharge, or the following aftermarket shaft options for a $75 upcharge: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi 60 (R, S or X flex), Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75 (5.5, 6.0 or 6.5 flex) or Aldila’s X-Torsion Copper (50R or 60S) shaft.

Ping’s G400 Max drivers, which are available now for pre-order, come in 9 and 10.5 degree options and with Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grips. They start selling for $435 apiece, plus any additional upcharges for shafts.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Ping G400 Max drivers in our forums.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Philip

    Jan 15, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Okay, the last version reduced from 460 to 445 which helped to make it more forgiving and now they go back to 460 to make it more forgiving (with all of the other stuff for each version to of course). I wonder how they measure forgiveness … is it having 1000’s of real average golfers hitting balls and then tabulating the results between versions? Is it using a machine with a perfect swing? Or, is it more marketing fluff than anything else?

  2. Robert Parsons

    Jan 15, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I would want to try a G400 Max LST.

    • Carl Schillinger

      Jan 15, 2018 at 4:03 pm

      Not available in the SFT or LST head.

      • Walter

        Jan 15, 2018 at 4:18 pm

        IOW it’s a gearhead hacker driver promising power and distance. Nothing new here.

  3. Watson

    Jan 15, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Highest loft is 10.5º which means it’s only good for 100+++mph swing speeds.
    I just bought, for $40, a mint condition PING G2 400cc driver with 15.5º lofts to match my declining swing speed. It’s got a 47″ stock TFC 100D with Soft Regular shaft with ‘Tip Flex Control’ feature.
    It’s an oversized 3-wood which I can confidently hit 220+/- yards. The flex is high but I can handle it with my slower swing speed. It plays like a whippy hickory shafted driver!
    A perfect club for an aging golfer who once hit 250+ regularly. Fortunately my short game and putting is still fantastic.

  4. Jerry

    Jan 15, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    I can see pros swinging at 115-130 wanting more forgiveness. But I’m swingin at max 95 mph and with a decent swing, I really enjoy the sweet feel/sound and uber forgiveness of the G400.

  5. mM

    Jan 15, 2018 at 11:30 am

    I love this advertorial… it says the Max is larger than the 445 of the original G400. But doesn’t say what size it is.
    Well done Ping. Not.

    • Milton Gombo

      Jan 15, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      460cc. Shape may be more like the original ‘G’ design, which I preferred anyway.
      If you want to rant about Ping- why can’t they arrange a head-only exchange program, as there is nothing wrong with my G400 Tour 65 shaft? This new Max w/ Tour shaft runs $470, and the PGA trade in value for my 1 month old G400 is $135. They would have locked me in sight unseen with a head-only exchange program. Now I’ll be testing other brands as well.

      • Jerry

        Jan 15, 2018 at 1:38 pm

        Doubt if 15cc will make a difference. Find the shaft you like and bomb away. I did not like any of the stock offerings, did not care for the Tour Shaft, nothing special to me, and it took several months to find a shaft – using a VA Shafts 55, and have a TPT Golf 54g shaft when they release the new version this month after the show. I think shaft is key here. More than enough forgiveness.

    • Carl Schillinger

      Jan 15, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      It has a 460 cc head.

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Whats in the Bag

Stewart Hagestad WITB

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Driver: TaylorMade M6 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 X

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ 80 X

Driving iron: TaylorMade P790
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD HY 85 X

Irons: TaylorMade P770 (4), TaylorMade P730 (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour 125 S+

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 (50, 54, 60)
Shafts: KBS Tour 610 Wedge 120

Putter: Scotty Cameron XPerimental Rev10

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

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WRX Spotted at U.S. Open: Justin playing just Rosey with new TPT

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We are a little more than halfway through the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, and so far the course is giving and taking as much as you would expect from a perfect setup by the USGA.

Taking the lead on Thursday and continuing to lurk into the weekend is Justin Rose. Since we have been paying close attention to his Honma golf bag all year, we noticed a shaft change in his Tour World driver.

We reached out to TPT to see if we could get an update on what Rose has put in play for what is often referred to as one of the toughest driving weeks of the year. Here’s the inside info

“Justin has put into play a TPT Golf 14 MKP-LT-SW shaft in his Honma driver. This shaft is a full 10 CPM ( Cycles per Minute ) stiffer than the 15 LKP-LT-SW shaft that he put in play at The Memorial after testing it that week. It’s also different in that it has a Mid Kick Point (MKP), where as the 15 LKP-LT-SW has a Low-Kick-Point (LKP) design.”

From a technical and fitting perspective (generally speaking) a lower kick point shaft will hit the ball higher with more spin compared to a mid or high kick point shaft if all other factors are equal. We don’t have access to his driver numbers but with the U.S. Open being played on what can always end up as a windy venue the theory would be that this change to the MKP is to help keep ball flight lower and more controlled — which will also be a benefit next month at the Open Championship.

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Best budget driver?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Ivyguy who is on the lookout for the best driver to be had at an affordable price ($300 or less). Our members give their suggestions, with plenty of different drivers getting a mention.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • tbsbama: “Cobra King LTD is a wonderful driver. The pro model has lofts from 7 to 10 with fade settings. The regular from 9 to 12 with draw settings. Both heads are absolute bombers and can be found pretty cheap. Best driver I have hit in several years.”
  • zzyzxx33: “I won a Tour Edge EXS Driver, and it has been Awesome! Great Price, Look, Sound and Results! It’s longer than anything else I’ve hit.”
  • AG12: “I would say the regular PING G400…you can get new for $300 on PGA SS website, ’17 M2 is a good choice, and the M4 can be had at under $300 used in most shops.”
  • Badshaft: “I have the F8+ and bought the extra weights off of eBay (inexpensive, shipped from China)- 12g front 7g back- Blue Tensei 70g stiff. Longest for me – straight and as accurate as anything. Nice well-balanced combo. Looks to me it has the same moveable weight strategy as the F9.”

Entire Thread: “Best budget driver?”

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